Wall street sign in New York with American flags and New York Stock Exchange background.

Falling oil prices dragged down Canada’s main stock index to its lowest point this year, as U.S. markets also plunged into the red.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 139.21 points to 15,955.51, with energy stocks leading the broad-based decline. The last time the TSX closed below 16,000 was Dec. 6.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 362.59 points to 26,076.89. The S&P 500 index was down 31.10 points to 2,822.43 and the Nasdaq composite index gave back 64.02 points to 7,402.48.

The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of US81.12¢, up 0.05 of a U.S. cent.

In commodities, the March crude contract fell US$1.06 to US$64.50 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up US3¢ to US$3.19 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$5.10 to US$1,340.00 an ounce and the March copper contract was unchanged at US$3.19 a pound.